Day 5 – Down the rabbit hole: A first-hand account of studying abroad

By Catherine Carter

Hello! As promised, today has been (very literally) a trip down the rabbit hole! Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland in 1865. Alice was actually based off a girl from Oxford. Every year, the town celebrates his books and their legacies with Alice’s Day. All kinds of celebrations take place, ranging from the silly to serious. People dress up in costumes, the library hand-prints pages from the novel, children are able to meet their favorite characters and there are even lectures about Alice’s influence in fashion. 

I walked around and tried a bit of everything, starting at Alice’s Shop, of course. It is the real store where the real Alice used to go and buy candy. They still sell candy there, amid all the other Alice themed items. It was enchanting to wander around town because everything was decorated. The phone booths were “bottomless,” reflecting the lights and baubles inside and tempting you further down the rabbit hole. The ceilings were covered with bright carousel umbrellas leading you down a path to the Queen of Hearts’ meadow. She even appeared to spend some time with the children. (Read: She spent some time tyrannically ordering all those nearby to sing happy birthday to her.) 

The most fun part of the day was seeing everyone dressed up! All the little girls were Alice and even parents got in on the fun and became the Madhatter or the Cheshire cat for a few hours. (Although from what I’ve seen, most adults are like the White Rabbit – always running late!) I hope this doesn’t find you running late, and that you enjoyed following me down the rabbit hole and spending some time in a true Wonderland!